Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Apple: Yummy Fruits A-Z

Apples were first introduced in America by European colonists in the 1600s, but the first apple tree is believed to have originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago. 

Today there are 7,500 known cultivars (varieties) of apples. The United States is the second largest producer, while China is number one and Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland.

It may be true that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Nutritionally, apples are rated as one of the healthiest foods we can eat. One medium apple is 95 calories and loaded with healthy fiber (17.4%) and vitamin C (11.1%). Apples contain quercetin, too, a flavonoid thought to regulate blood sugar.

Most of all, apples are part of our culture and way of life, filling our senses and memories with their sweet aroma, and often cinnamon scent. Apples are best eaten fresh, but who can forget Mom's apple pie and all those other scrumptious desserts this fruit does so well?  

Apple Recipe

"Fresh Apple Pound Cake"

1-1/2 cup vegetable oil..............3 cups unsifted flour
2 cups white sugar.....................1 tsp. baking soda
3 eggs.........................................1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups finely chopped pared apple
1 cup chopped (medium fine) pecans or walnuts

In mixer beat oil, sugar, eggs & vanilla till combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture till smooth. Fold in apples and nuts. Turn into greased & floured 10"x4" bundt pan. Bake 325 degrees. 1hr 20min or until done. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 min.

Caramel topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 tsp. milk. (Add brandy or rum flavoring for an extra treat). Boil 2 min.

With small spatula loosen cake edges & around tube. Turn out on rack. At once spoon hot mixture over still warm cake, allowing it to run down sides. (Poke holes in cake with toothpick for topping to soak in). Cool completely. May be stored for a day or two in tightly covered tin box. For longer storage, cover & refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. (A nice gift at Christmastime).

Apple Jokes

--What do you get if you cross a jogger with an apple pie?

(Puff pastry!)

"Dad!" he puffed, "is it true an apple a day keeps the doctor away?"
"That's what they say," said his Dad.
"Well, give me an apple quick. I've just broken the doctor's window!"

Apple Movies

The Apple Dumpling Gang

--The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) - three orphans strike gold in the Wild West.

--The Apple (1980) - a musical science fiction film

--Noon Blue Apples (2002) - a college student reads diary of occult novelist, has bizarre nightmarish experience.

--Adam's Apple (2005) - a neo-Nazi is sentenced to community service.

Apple Books

Many are for children:

Bad Apple

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway. A wonderful book about standing up to bullies. (Mac is called a "rotten" and "bad apple)."

Apple Songs (video link)


  1. Entertaining post. I used to love apple picking in the fall. The apple pound cake recipe has my mouth watering.

  2. Sharon,
    I look forward going on this fruity journey with you. Great theme.

  3. Thanks for the recipe for apple pound cake. I don't do so well with eating apples ( I always find some other fruit I'd rather eat, LOL), but I love baking and making puddings with it.

  4. Excellent start! And I perceive that I must eat light the day before so that I man look at your recipes and say "OK! I'm making that"

    Good start!


    1. --Nana - Thanks for being number one. Still waiting for my small tree to produce.

      --Inge - Thanks...I'm glad you can join in the fun.

      --Damaria - You'll love this recipe even it IS loaded with calories.

      --Diana - Ha-ha. I'm glad I don't have time to bake right now.

  5. What a fun theme. I hope you'll be able to find fruits with every letter of the alphabet.

  6. Oh the apple dumpling gang! We pick apples every year here in NY, and we often have taste tests to revise our lists of favorite varieties. We don't just eat any old apple.

  7. Makes me want some apple pound cake for breakfast! Apples are an amazing fruit, full of vitamin C and fiber. Very nice to learn so much more about them.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

  8. This is such an eclectic post - absolutely charming!
    I'm not really a dessert kind of person, but I'll take apple crumble with a dollop of fresh cream anyday!
    Writer In Transit

    1. Vanessa - Hi....still trying to get over to your blog, which I WILL do.

      Andrea - You sound like an apple expert :)

      MJ - Ooh, cake really is good for breakfast, but fresh is my favorite.

      Michelle - Thanks...This was a fun post to write. So much info out there!

  9. That cake sounds absolutely amazing!

  10. Mmm... Shame on making me hungry. Now I'm going to search for an apple. I'm sure I have on around here somewhere... ;)

  11. I love the broken window joke. I'll have to pass that one along. I wrote about fruit, too, for the A-Z, but I chose apricots, and I didn't have any cool jokes. Thanks for the read. I just signed up as follower via email, and I'm looking forward to your future posts.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

  12. I will definitely be trying out that apple pound cake recipe! I'll be sure to post the results when I do. Great post :)

    1. Mich - I hope you get to try it. Thanks for visiting.

      Crystal - Oh, but a plain apple is so healthy. Enjoy!

      Debi - I'm glad you liked the jokes. I need to check your apricots next.

      Rambling - The cake makes a perfect gift too, or sliced to share.

  13. I am SO making that apple pound cake! Excellent start to your A to Z adventure, Sharon! I just need to get a bundt pan. *lol* Waiting with bated breath for your ensuing posts!

    LuAnn Braley
    AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
    Back Porchervations

  14. And the best American apples are grown in Washington State!!!! :D

  15. This post has made me yearn for an apple.
    The apple pound cake sounds delicious. Will have to try that for sure.
    Thanks for dropping by my blog!
    Sania @ Fragile Words

  16. I love apples, and I am saving the recipe for later usage. Thank you. I enjoyed reading the history here. Even if I may have know some of this, I forgot it with time, so nice to see it.
    Thanks again, Susan. Lovely way to start.
    Silvia @

    1. Hi LuAnn. Good luck finding that bundt pan!

      JoJo - Welcome both of you. WA is the best....Yay!!

      Sania - I can smell that cake now....Need to do before it turns hot out.

      Silvia - I'm a bit of a history buff too...glad you didn't find it boring :)

  17. I have a few apple trees here on the farm we planted recently i hope to one day have a few to pick! My favorite apple pie is a Dutch apple pie I just love the crusty crumbles on the top. It takes me aback to the days when I use to go w/ my granddad to lunch. Man I miss them both!

  18. Sharon, you've got a winner on your hands again this year! Lots of fun!

  19. I wish I'd thought of apples this morning. Great blog, and nice to connect
    Twitter: WriterBizWoman

  20. A is for apple. I think that's one of the earliest things we learn. Cool post.

    1. Emma - Welcome! With more than one tree you'll have a crop someday. Lucky you. Food is often a connection to the past. I have similar memories.

      Cathy - Hi! I'm so glad you decided to join last minute. Good to see you here.

      Comley - Welcome! I need to check out your blog, too.

      Liz - Ha- ha. Oh, of course a teacher would say that.

  21. The Apple Dumpling Gang. What better combo of screw ups than Don Knotts and Tim Conway! Remember that TV show called Apple's Way?

  22. That's a lot of varieties! I've eaten an apple every day for years now.
    And I remember seeing Apple Dumpling Gang (and the sequel) in theaters when I was a kid.

  23. Love the recipe! Have added it to my food category in Pinterest!
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April!

  24. I love your post! I just watched the Apple Dumpling Gang recently. An oldie but goodie. :)


    1. Steven - Don't remember the TV series, but sure do the movie. What a couple of goofs they were!

      Alex - I know. I had no idea there were so many. Bet you're healthy eating all those apples!

      Jemima - I hope you enjoy it. I recommend the brandy or rum....really adds to it.

      Leslie - Welcome! I wonder if I can get it on Netflix. I need to check. Love this movie, too.

  25. Definitely love 'em! Nice apple post. Wish I could get that recipe in low carb. :)

  26. Fun facts...a fellow A-Zer stopping by...

  27. Loved the post! I will try the recipe. But not now, as it is close to Passover (and we can't bake for Passover). We have lots of apples growing in Israel too.

  28. What a fun "A" for Apple post! I loved the joke section! ~ Angela, A to Z participant from Web Writing Advice and Whole Foods Living

  29. PS: Following your blog now too! Thanks!

    1. Nancy - I wish I could get in low calories period !

      Donna - Welcome. Glad you could stop by!

      Krinasite - Thanks....Nice to have a visitor from Israel :-)

      Whole Foods - Thanks for the follow! The jokes were all over the internet and surprisingly quite a few.

  30. Love your blog, Sharon. I can't understand why I'm not on your followers list. I'm joining right now. Thank you for being patient.

  31. I had no idea there were that many types of apples.

  32. What a fun series for the A-Z! I'm impressed with all your research on apples. :) Kind of craving one now!

  33. Visiting from the A-Z Challenge. I love this post!! I cannot wait to try the recipe. I will definitely be back tomorrow to see what's next in the series. :)
    Amanda at His and Her Hobbies

    1. Fanny - Thank you. Glad you could finally join. It's been a problem for others too.

      Tracy - Me, too. Makes me wonder what I've been missing all these years!

      Jaimie - Welcome! What surprised me is just how much info there is. The internet is pretty amazing these days.

      Amanda - Welcome! Glad you could visit. Need to check out yours, too.

  34. Apple Dumpling Gang was one of my favorite movies as a youngster!

    And that Apple Pound Cake looks delicious!

  35. Oh, the Apple Dumpling Gang . . . I remember that movie! And that song - Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree - I remember my grandma Pearl singing that around the house.
    Thanks for sharing!

  36. Such a colorful interesting post to begin the A/Z challenge! I didn't know there were so many varieties of apples and I'm definitely going to try that recipe sometime!


  37. Oh my gosh, I was in love with the Apple Dumpling Gang when I was a child. One of my favorite movies then. Thanks for bringing back sweet memories!

    Visions of Other Worlds

  38. Rebekah - You and others love this movie. I'm on a mission to see it again :)

    Tyrean - Bet Grandma Pearl had a good voice too. I love this song even if it was before my time.

    Betty - Thanks. I learned a lot too!
    Jessica - Welcome! And another movie fan, I see. I'm surprised at how many of you love this movie. Definitely need to see it again.

  39. One of my stepdaughters lives in the middle of an apple orchard. Love visiting there...

    D.B. McNicol
    A to Z: Romance & Mystery...writing my life

    1. Oh, it must smell really sweet around harvest time. Lucky for you!!

  40. Sharon, I just wanted to thank you for that wonderful Apple Pound Cake recipe. I had all the fixings here that same day and made it and it it was a great hit with everyone. I know it will be one I will continue making it. Thanks again!


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